This morning my back aches and my hands are blistered from spending yesterday pounding metal fence posts as the stakes for our tomato and pepper cages. The giant zinnia flowers have been transplanted and all that awaits their outside debut is the tender heat-loving basil. But, the garden is off to a great start. The lettuce and radishes are in full production and will be the first offerings at the farmer’s market starting this week! Last night Dan and I cut out 900 labels for our baked goods, and I’m wondering how long that will last? The next few days the table will be covered in granola, cookies and pie prepped for market.
The bee hives came on Saturday early in the morning, while the bees were still cool, slow and mostly inactive. They don’t belong to us, per se, but we are eager to learn about these fascinating creatures and volunteered our land to an Apiarist (bee keeper). He will mentor us in how to keep bees, collect honey, overwinter them, etc. First teachings: 1. they sense fear and can get agitated 2. they are attracted to hair so best to wear a ball cap or hat when near the hives 3. a piece of wood should be floated on water so they can drink and not drown.
About a month or so ago, we discovered the neighborly fox nuisance had swiped 10 of our hens and we found ourselves with a significant decrease in egg production. After lunch yesterday the hens were acting spooked and I couldn’t find a turkey so I guessed the fox had reappeared and I went hunting for feathers to confirm the inevitable. I didn’t find any, but Dan took off to track her when he got home. And miracle of all miracles, he nailed her! He came dragging the fox up the driveway and I practically jumped up and down for joy! In the last month Dan has finally caught one of her pups and now the mother. There are still two pups out there, we think. In the two years that we’ve lived here, she has circled us on all sides, sly and clever, and managed to wipe out at least 60 of our chickens! So while I am normally all about promoting natural wildlife, this fox had to go! And the missing turkey reappeared this morning!
It’s already June and the seeds that were planted last week are busting out of the dirt. The dry beans, popcorn, sweet corn, decorative corn, green beans, cucumbers, okra, melons and squash have mustered up the collective energy that a little moisture and heat give them to break ground. The peas and swiss chard are looking beautiful and will be ready soon. The spinach has been a problem germinating, so we are trying another batch inside and another in a different section of the garden to see what X factor we’re missing. If nothing else, I think we can work something out to at least have a fall harvest of spinach leaves. The cauliflower and cabbage were more stubborn this year too, and while we have several that are doing stellar, the group mentality is rebellion, so we’ll see. The farm is looking quite beautiful in green, and once the peonies, marigolds and zinnia’s bloom, and the vegetables start flowering it will really just be dressed in its finest!
And that’s the news from this windy-but-sunny week on the farm!